- Like lots of folks from the Kansas City area, I grew up going to Branson, MO for many, many a roadtrip (my 5th birthday, family vacations, junior high school retreats, college spring breaks). I have loads of sweet, mushy memories there. As much as I enjoy poking fun at Southern Missouri, let it be known that to know Southern Missouri is to love Southern Missouri. File this trip under the Rediscovering Your Childhood category.
- Overall, it was a great trip. On Friday morning, I headed down to Southern Missouri. Anju slept most of the way and Arun did not sleep a single wink. He was far too excited. It was fine, though because he and I had a nice time talking and pointing out all the things we came across. Our first stop was the Fantastic Caverns and the Double A's LOVED it. The only thing that was sorta bad is that Anjali loved it a little too much and kept excitedly jabbering. Loudly. Then she discovered her echo, much to everyone's chagrin. After the cave, we went to The Butterfly Palace. Um. This place was really, really awesome. But. It was a bit pricey, which is unfortunate because it was so neat to hang out in a beautiful garden and have butterflies zooming and fluttering all over you. And their insect display was pretty cool. And the mirror maze was fun. But again, the price (adults, $16.95 and kids 4-12, $6.95). I could see the cost being prohibitive for a family of 4. It was totally worth it for us, because I only had to pay one admission and my kid is obsessed with butterflies, caterpillars, insects and in general, nature. Anyway, after all that we met up with my sister, BIL, their kids and went to dinner. Later that night, my brother, my dad and my step-mom finally arrived (my younger sister is in Italy and actually was so disappointed to miss the trip with us. That is how we Olivers roll, folks. We LOVE Branson.)
- On Saturday, we did Silver Dollar City (Sidenote: Silver Dollar City is such a kickass place for families. And affordable. AFFORDABLE. (adults, $48 and kids 4-12, $38). Once you enter the park, pretty much all the activities are free (the shows, the train, the rides, etc.) Sure, the food is the same over-priced fare you always see in parks, but I brought snacks and we only drink water anyway. Also, it was the weekend of the Bluegrass and Barbecue festival, which was quite fun. We did not do much else other than just walk around, see the sights and eat our weight in fried goods. Sunday, we went back to SDC again except that it rained. No, actually it poured. At one point, I was stranded with just the Double A's. An empty soda cup and a downspout kept Arun entertained for well over half an hour, thankthelordabove.
- Sadly, all that walking around means that I am now back to where I began with my foot problems.
- I have finally washed the last and final schmear of roadkill off my car oh my god it will be too soon if I ever, ever see another armadillo carcass I swear to god I am so over dead animals gross gross gross.
- I did tweet on Twitter quite a bit while I was gone. Check out my archives if you are so inclined.
- I bought a new handbag down there and I feel like a new woman. No more schlepping a huge diaper bag. Sure, the purse is still too big for my taste, but that is the style anyway. By the time I am done carting snacks and toys, hopefully small handbags will be back in style.
- Confession: I love bluegrass music. Whereas country music is too twangy, bluegrass has just the right amount of "pluck". When we go next year, I am going to vote for doing the Bluegrass and BBQ festival weekend again.
- This bullet is for Bethiclaus. She mentioned that she is glad she talks to me in real life because my posts are always so happy and chirpy. Yes, this site is my Happy Place and I do tend to leave out the bad bits. So, here we go. Traveling with children sucks big ole donkey balls. Hairy, smelly donkey balls. And all the things I stressed about? And prepared for? Ended up being fine. The Double A's did not get bored in the car, so the umpteen million toys were for naught. The kids slept fine, just fine in the hotel room, so I worried for nothing. The kids did not get overly hungry, so the 40 million snacks I packed melted in the sun. The kids were not scared to be in new places and eagerly took in all the new sights. Sadly, what I did not mentally steel myself for was the fact that Arun would turn into a veritable insane person at the sight of his cousins!in!a!new!place. Cousins! In a room just down the hall! From him! Cousins! Oh. My. God. Cousins! The first night we together they were all playing in our room. When they went to their room to go to sleep, Arun was distraught and melted into a weepy ball of goo on the floor. The rest of the weekend, he acted like he had snorted an 8 ball while drinking shots of tequila with a beer chaser. Because, you know. COUSINS.
- My favorite part of the entire vacation was while driving, I spied Arun and Anjali in the back holding hands and smiling at each other. I would have taken a picture, but I was far too busy risking our lives live Tweeting. Priorities, people.
Oh, and I am going to finally see the Sex and the City movie on Wednesday with my mommy. I was so bummed to miss the first day it was out, but come on, peoples! Silver Dollar City vs. New York City? No contest.
Snappage - there is more on Flickr, just click on through. It is all public.
Less IS MORE.
Not a great picture, but I love seeing them together. Anjali would NOT sit during the entire ride, she had to be standing. When we were stopped, I let her stand next to Arun. Otherwise, she stood on the floor next to my legs.
Silver Dollar City
The Butterfly Palace
It was a rainforest garden and was very hot and VERY humid. It made Anjali's hair go INSANE with ringlets.